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Forum wire reports, Published January 07 2011

Pavano, Twins close to deal

MINNEAPOLIS – The Twins and righthander Carl Pavano are closing in on a contract, a source with knowledge of negotiations said Thursday night. The deal is believed to be for two seasons.

Pavano, who turns 35 on Saturday, made $7 million last year while going 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA.

Pavano, regarded as the best free-agent starting pitcher still available this offseason, was believed to be seeking a three-year deal, but indications are that the Twins aren’t willing to make that long of a commitment. Pavano indicated this offseason that his preference was to re-sign with the Twins.

If the sides reach a deal, the Twins would bring back the only starter who was able to pitch at least 200 innings last season, giving the Twins a capable 1-2 punch with Pavano and lefthander Francisco Liriano at the top of the rotation.